Harry Kane has been warned dropping him from the England team would not be a problem at Euro 2020 thanks to the ranks of talented attackers at Gareth Southgate’s disposal.
talkSPORT’s Tony Cascarino says the Three Lions don’t rely on the Tottenham man as much as they relied on Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney in the past, and there are a number of players who can take his place if the captain struggles for form.
England skipper Kane sat out of this week’s 5-0 victory over San Marino, as Southgate’s men kicked off their World Cup qualifying campaign in fine style.
And it was a game that showed off the Three Lions’ riches of talent as a largely second-string side blew the European minnows away.
With Kane rested, Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin led the line up front and impressed with two well-taken goals – adding to his 19 club goals so far this term.
Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins also came off the bench to score on his senior England debut, but Southgate’s options up front don’t end there with Marcus Rashford also sitting out of the game with injury.
And Cascarino believes their wealth of talent in attack has given England a big boost they haven’t experienced for many years as they go into Euro 2020 – they aren’t heavily reliant on one player finding the net up front.
“When you get to a tournament, if your striker goes out of form you can be left out after a couple of games,” said Cascarino on the Weekend Sports Breakfast, who admitted that’s exactly what happened to him at Italia 90 with the Republic of Ireland team.
“It’s very different at major tournaments, because you just can’t have a striker go out of form. If Harry went two or three games in the group stages without scoring and England qualified but he struggled, he could easily be out of the team.
“You want players to be able to come in with a lot of enthusiasm, and have belief and trust in them that they can do the job.
“England haven’t had that enough, for me, they’ve often relied on one player in that position.
“Wayne Rooney went through a long period of being England’s No.9, even when he was out of form. I think he only scored seven goals in major tournaments [six in European Championship and just one at World Cup finals] , which is never enough.
“Wayne did amazing things for England, he broke the goal record and got a lot of appearances, the age he played to, he had a great tournament in Portugal [scoring four goals at Euro 2004], but if you look at his record in major tournaments overall it wasn’t very good.
“There’s no guarantee for strikers, and it happened to me!
“I was Republic of Ireland’s top scorer in qualifying for the 1990 World Cup, but after two games at the tournament I was dropped. That happens. Niall Quinn came in and did brilliantly well.
“I just wasn’t playing very well. Jack [Charlton] told me, I won’t use his actual words, but he just told me that… er, I just wasn’t very good! And I got dropped.
“I remember sitting on the bench in the quarter-final and I looked across and saw Gianluca Vialli on the bench for Italy. He was the main man before the tournament started, but didn’t score, he had a couple of indifferent games and Salvatore Schillaci came into the team.
“It’s not out of the realms of possibility that Harry Kane might find himself in that scenario.
“But this time I do feel there is a group coming in behind, two or three players who are very capable now of stepping in if Harry Kane is not fit or not playing well.”